EPO Supervisory Body To Face Fears Over Patent Quality, Judicial Independence

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As staff strikes continue and the European Patent Office’s Administrative Council prepares for what could be a contentious 11 December meeting, opinions are split over the effect of the turmoil on the office’s role in Europe’s unitary patent.

UK High Court Orders ISPs To Block Trademark-Infringing Websites

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In what may be a test case for trademark owners battling counterfeiters, the UK High Court has ordered five internet service providers (ISPs) to block websites that were advertising and selling bogus goods. The ruling could have implications beyond Britain, the court said. ISPs, meanwhile, said the best way to handle infringing websites is to remove them at source rather than blocking.

Rights Owners, Internet Companies Far Apart In Australian Copyright Consultation

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Responses to an Australian government proposal for fighting online copyright infringement show a wide gap between rights holders and internet companies on liability, and website blocking.

Libraries May Be Permitted To Digitise Books Without Copyright Owner’s Consent, EU High Court Rules

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European Union governments may allow libraries to digitise books in their collection without rights owners’ consent in order to make them available at electronic reading posts, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) said on 11 September. If library users want to print works out on paper or store them on a USB stick, however, rights holders must be fairly compensated.

EU High Court Parody Ruling Could Create Problems, IP Attorneys Say

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A 3 September European Court of Justice decision on the concept of “parody” is a controversial attempt to harmonise copyright law judicially where legislative efforts have failed, and raises more questions than it answers, intellectual property lawyers said. But the decision won’t affect implementation of the United Kingdom’s new copyright exception for parody, the UK Intellectual Property Office said.

UK Adopts Private Copying Exception As Some Rightholders Mull Legal Action

A new United Kingdom copyright exception for private copying cleared Parliament on 29 July and will become law in October. The change brought cheers from high-tech and digital rights groups. UK Music, however, said the new regulation will hurt creators and that it is considering legal action.

Human Eggs That Can’t Develop Into Human Beings Should Be Patentable, EU High Court Advisor Says

Unfertilised human eggs that can’t develop into human beings are generally not “human embryos” within the meaning of the EU directive on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions, a 17 July European Court of Justice Advocate General opinion said. The opinion is good news for researchers into stem cell therapies, said a member of the industry group IP Federation, who added he hopes it will be upheld by the ECJ. But one biotech civil society member said the ruling, if it stands, could be abused.

EPO President Battistelli’s Term Extended Amid Staff Concerns

The term of European Patent Office (EPO) President Benoît Battistelli has been extended for three years to 30 June 2018. The vote by the European Patent Organisation Administrative Council strongly backed Battistelli’s quality and efficiency reforms, but sparked unhappiness from staff who see the president as a “dictator”.

WIPO Chief Calls for Seamless, Global, Legal Digital Content Regime

ATHENS – In what the representative of a major consumer group called a “big step,” World Intellectual Property Organization Director General Francis Gurry on 6 June called for development of a seamless, global, legal, digital content marketplace that could offer the chance to bridge seemingly intractable copyright issues. Speaking at a conference in Athens hosted by the Greek EU Presidency on copyright and Europe’s digital agenda, Gurry said the search for such a market should take the form of a dialogue that includes all stakeholders.

UK IP Advisor Points To Online Search Engines To Do More Against Piracy

Search engines don’t cause internet piracy but they could do more to stamp it out, the UK Prime Minister’s intellectual property advisor says in a new paper.